'Lesbian' Albatrosses Raising Baby

Father is out of the picture, but baby is doing fine
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2010 6:00 AM CST
In this photo released by freelance photographer Simon Stirrup, two Waved Albatross are seen in the Galapagos Islands in Nov. 2004.   (AP Photo/Simon Stirrup, HO)

(Newser) – Two female partners recruited a sperm donor and are now successfully raising a baby together—but no, they're not witnesses in the recent Prop 8 trial—they're not even human. The ladies are a pair of royal albatrosses living in a New Zealand breeding colony, and a head ranger calls their situation "quite unusual," although it has happened two other times in the same colony during the past 70 years.

The father has since disappeared and the chick has been successfully incubated, the Telegraph reports. A ranger says the females will raise it in the same way a more traditional male-female pair would, adding that "they need to have a very strong bond" to share the duties of foraging for food and protecting their chick. On the same peninsula, two male penguins are also incubating an egg together.

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